Inclusive Market Development

 Man growing seedlingsCREDITS: UNDP

Most UNDP programmes with the private sector aim at inclusive market development (IMD). Inclusive markets are markets that extend choices and opportunities to the poor (and other excluded groups) as producers, consumers and wage earners. Inclusive markets thus create jobs and affordable goods and services needed by the poor.

In a number of developing and transition countries UNDP contributes to development of inclusive markets by working in the areas of improving policy frameworks, developing value chains, improving access to affordable goods and services, supporting entrepreneurship development and corporate social responsibility.

The IMD approach focuses on entire markets or sub-sectors that are important to the poor by addressing barriers to inclusive market development at micro, meso and macro levels. Such barriers include, e.g. lack of appropriate policies, limited access to finance and markets, weak value chain linkages, capacity constraints and lack of infrastructure. Thus, various interventions at different levels might be needed.

The IMD approach promotes participation of all relevant actors at various levels. Which market or sector to target and how to promote inclusion is defined through an open and participatory process where the focus is on the sectors or markets that are important to the poor. The process involves not only UNDP and other UN agencies but also additional partners and stakeholders such as the local government, academia, private sector organisations, civil society organisations, etc. Upon selection of target sector or market the sector specific stakeholders are identified along with investors and lead firms. This ensures a demand driven strategic approach where the opportunities for the poor are the starting point.

Examples of Inclusive Market Development

Smallholder farmers from Upper Egypt and beneficiaries of the UN joint programme check on their produce. Photo: UNDP/Egypt
In Egypt, small farmers embrace the entrepreneurial spirit

When the Arab Spring blew over Egypt in early 2011, most investors predicted chaos and fled, pushing already massive unemployment even higher and plunging the economymore 


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